Sunday, April 08, 2007

GroupWise vs. Excel

A long time ago a had to install Novell GroupWise 7.0 on my computer. Right after that I faced a problem with Excel 2003. To my surprise, the Windows "Close" button in the top-right corner (aka the "x-button") became disabled. Furthermore, sometimes when I was closing a workbook with Ctrl-F4, Excel would show the "Save As" dialog, even though the document was already saved. I suspected all this was caused by GroupWise, but since the annoyance was minor I didn't feel like spending time to figure this out. The situation became worse when I upgraded to Excel 2007. Now, whenever I opened a Excel file by double-clicking on it, Excel would come up, but the document would not open in it. I had to wait a few seconds, sometimes up to a minute, before the document would open. Interestingly, if I started Excel and then opened a document from it, it would open immediately without the annoying delay. This time I could not ignore the problem. Investigation revealed an apparently GroupWise-related file in c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\XLSTART\GWXL97.XLA. I don't know what GroupWise wanted to do with Excel, but whatever it is, it is incompatible with Excel 2007 (the filename suggests it was developed for Excel 97). Removing the file resolved the problem.
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